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Mt. Everest Expedition: Waiting

It is the middle of May and the wait for fine weather on Mount Everest continues.  Many climbers have started up the mountain so as to be in position should a break come in the next few days.  A combination team of Sherpas from several expeditions is bound for the South Col now, hoping to be able to fix the ropes to the top when the wind dies.  Our team is obviously hoping that the fixing effort succeeds and that those lining up for a first shot at the top get their shot.  We aren’t eager to be in that first run though.  The weather window is forecasted to be short and the climbers are many, so we will instead take our chances on whatever more substantial break comes afterward.  But the waiting is difficult.  We are all healthy and feeling strong and we’ve now been down and resting for some time.  We want to climb soon and it is difficult to hold back when others are going for it, but our judgment is that a little more patience is called for to fully accomplish our goals.  We are each feeling the frustrations of being in a dead-end valley where the only real outlet is a journey through the Khumbu Icefall.  It doesn’t make much sense to go through that jumble simply for exercise and so we repeatedly backtrack down the trail toward Gorak Shep, taking on more sensible and vastly safer hiking goals like Kalapathar and Pumori Camp One.  Our hope in doing these hikes is that our legs and lungs will be ready for the real thing and that daily hikes will keep our brains from fretting over the wait.  It is sometimes a little difficult for us to remember that these 19,000 feet “hikes” in the midst of spectacular peaks and glaciers would be lifetime goals for many and that we are extremely lucky to be living in this place… But of course we are preoccupied with the top vertical mile or so of Mt. Everest right now.

Winds are still raking the upper peaks and ridges and temperatures still seem a bit lower than normal for mid-May.  Our walks and scrambles on the glacier adjacent to Basecamp reveal slightly less runoff than we’d consider normal.  We choose to view this positively in that the Khumbu Icefall won’t get up to its full speed while things remain remain cool.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn


Comments (4)

dave- i had the pleasure of you serving as my guide in sept 98 on an ascent of Rainier. I wish you good weather, health and most importantly- safety. Suerte amigo!

Posted by: david.mendel on

Have you met my friend Moshi Wilfred from Tanzania yet? He’s probably the tallest guy on the mountain.
Best of health and well-being during your climb.

Posted by: Ellen on

It is a thrill to see you do this one more time, it great to be able to experience it vicariously through you…thanks so much for sharing! Will be following you to the top of the world!!!

Posted by: Tom Gray on

Dave - Good luck on a safe summit bid when you do get your shot! Cheers, Stewart

Posted by: Stewart Fleming on

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